Chris Gethard, a comedian and improviser best known for his cult public access program "The Chris Gethard Show," will soon join IFC, the cable channel announced Monday.
The New York City-based comedian will host broadcast programming and create original content for IFC.com. Gethard performed a similar role for IFC last March during the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Tex.
IFC is also looking to develop Gethard's memoir, "A Bad Idea I’m About To Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgment and Stunningly Awkward Adventure." They have ordered a pilot script based on the book.
Bringing Gethard into the fold of IFC is part of the channel's new "Adopt-A-Comic" program, which aims to give a wider audience to specific comedians who they deem worthy. "This program is IFC’s way of spotlighting comedians we admire," said IFC's president and general manager Jennifer Caserta. "We’re extremely grateful to Chris and his family for allowing us this special opportunity."
Indeed, IFC has been one of the most high-profile networks championing comedians who are not yet household names. Two new IFC comedies, "Comedy Bang! Bang!" and "Bunk" (on which Gethard has appeared), have featured comedians who have developed loyal fan bases through live performance and podcasts rather than traditional film or TV work.
To that end, Gethard is a natural fit for the network. "The Chris Gethard Show," which calls itself "the most bizarre and often saddest talk show in New York City," has developed a cult following since premiering at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (where Gethard taught improv) in 2009. It gained national attention when Gethard successfully staged a grass-roots campaign to convince the rapper Diddy to appear as a guest in 2010.
The next year, the show's audience grew when it began broadcasting via cable access and Internet streaming.
In addition to "The Chris Gethard Show," the comic has popped up in more mainstream avenues, including a leading role on Comedy Central's "Big Lake," film appearances in "The Other Guys" and "The Dictator," TV spots on "Human Giant" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," and telling stories on "This American Life." He was also one of Variety's "Ten Comics to Watch" in 2010.
Recently, Gethard chronicled a cross-country trip to Bonnaroo, where he had to rely solely on strangers and fans from the Internet to get him there.
Said Gethard of IFC's interest in him, "When I told my parents I was being adopted by a television station, they said 'Why do you need to be adopted? You are 32 years old. We gave you a pretty good, easy suburban life.' They don't get how much of an opportunity it is for me that a hip cable network wants to raise me like a human baby."